On this day in sport: Ronaldo leads Real Madrid to history, world mourns Muhammad Ali

By Sports Desk June 03, 2020

Real Madrid have made a habit of European success down the years, winning the ultimate prize more times than any other club, and in 2017 they did what no one else could.

But June 3, 2016 will be remembered by many for contrasting reasons, as Muhammad Ali – one of the greatest athletes ever – died, leaving the sporting world in despair.

This day is also notable for South African cricket, and specifically an historic captaincy announcement.

We take a look at the major sporting events to have happened on this day through the years.

2017 – Los Blancos continue their European reign

When Real Madrid and Juventus went head-to-head in Cardiff for the 2017 Champions League final, the omens appeared to be in favour of the Old Lady – no team had ever defended their title in the competition.

But Madrid are no ordinary club and history was theirs in Wales, as they became the first club to retain the Champions League.

Although Mario Mandzukic cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo's well-taken 20th-minute opener with an outrageous over-the-shoulder volley, Madrid romped to a 4-1 victory in the second half.

Casemiro's deflected long-range effort put them back in front, Ronaldo turned in from close range to increase the deficit and Marco Asensio finished Juve off after brilliant work from Marcelo – they would go on to win the competition for a third successive season the following year.

2016 – Sport loses an icon

Arguably the most iconic boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali, died exactly four years ago.

His achievements in the ring were plentiful, Ali's most famous victories came in the Thrilla in Manila (1975) against Joe Frazier, and the Rumble in the Jungle (1974), in which he stunningly defeated George Foreman. The latter attracted an estimated one billion TV viewers.

Ali was renowned for his charisma, showmanship and quick wit, while he also wrote poetry and enjoyed success as a musician.

However, his impact as an activist is what he is best remembered for by many. Ali was stripped of his heavyweight titles after refusing to be drafted to the Vietnam War in 1966 and spent over three years away from the ring as he fought his conviction for draft evasion, which was overturned in 1971. His stance saw him grow into an inspirational figure in the civil rights movement.

He succumbed to Parkinson's syndrome in 2016, 32 years after making his diagnosis public. He continues to be regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated athletes in history.

2014 – An historic appointment for South African cricket

With Graeme Smith recently retiring from international cricket, in June 2014 South Africa made an historic appointment for his replacement as Test captain.

Batsman Hashim Amla got the nod despite many suspecting AB de Villiers – Smith's deputy – to have been the leading candidate for the role.

Durban-born Amla, who is of Indian descent, became South Africa's first non-white permanent Test captain in the process.

Amla retired from all forms of international cricket in August last year following the Cricket World Cup.

1999 – Malone named NBA MVP again

After a stellar 1998-99 season, Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz claimed the Maurice Podoloff trophy as he was named NBA MVP.

It was the second time he claimed the prize, making him – at that point – only the ninth player in NBA history to win it more than once, having also been a standout star two years earlier.

In 1998-99, which had a shortened calendar due to a lockout, Malone averaged 23.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists as the Jazz went 37-13, but the San Antonio Spurs ended the season victorious.

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Raptors ready to defend NBA title – Ibaka Coronavirus: Raptors ready to defend NBA title – Ibaka

    Serge Ibaka warned the Toronto Raptors are "locked in" and ready to defend their NBA title following the coronavirus-enforced break.

    The NBA season is set to resume on July 30 after the 2019-20 campaign was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March.

    Orlando's Disney World complex will host 22 teams, with the Los Angeles Lakers headlining the league's comeback against rivals the Los Angeles Clippers on July 30 after the New Orleans Pelicans face the Utah Jazz on the same day.

    Defending champions the Raptors – second in the Eastern Conference and trailing the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) with a 46-18 record – will restart their season against the Lakers on August 1.

    Raptors star Ibaka said his team-mates are ready to return, telling reporters via a conference call on Saturday: "I saw just how everyone is in great shape. 

    "They came here in great shape and as soon as we got here everyone was starting to put in work.

    "I've been in the league for 11 years. You can see when people's locked in and they are ready mentally, and when they are not.

    "So I can tell you right now, mentally, everybody is ready. Everybody is ready."

    Ibaka, who helped the Raptors win their first championship last season, added: "It's been a little bit weird [this season] with everything that's going on. But one thing we know is that it's over.

    "Whatever happened last season is over, and we've got to try to put our mindset so that it's ready to go for this one.

    "We know it's going to be hard, it's going to be a challenge, and everyone is going to come for us because we are the champs, so we have to be ready."

    Meanwhile, the 30-year-old center admitted he is worried about the rising number of coronavirus cases in Florida.

    "Honestly it's really concerning," he said. "Hopefully everybody has to follow the rules, every player, when we get in the bubble in Orlando, we can respect all the notes that they're going to give us.

    "But I have my daughter who lives here in Orlando, and it's kind of scary a little bit. It's something where you have to make sure you look at it."

  • Lampard tells Chelsea not to get caught up in Man Utd form and to embrace Champions League pressure Lampard tells Chelsea not to get caught up in Man Utd form and to embrace Champions League pressure

    Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard wants his players to embrace the pressure of trying to qualify for the Champions League in their Premier League battle with in-form Manchester United.

    Lampard's Chelsea moved back into the top four with a 3-0 win over Watford after United had briefly leapfrogged them following a 5-2 thrashing of Bournemouth earlier on Saturday.

    Chelsea are fourth in the table, two points clear of United with five matches remaining in the Premier League, as the top-four race goes down to the wire.

    And Lampard told his players to ignore United, who have gone 16 matches without defeat across all competitions, after bouncing back from Wednesday's shock 3-2 loss at West Ham.

    "I think every game is going to be pressure now," Lampard told reporters. "West Ham was pressure because we knew we could go third. It's a different kind of pressure but it's still the same in how you focus on the game and job at hand.

    "You cannot get too caught up in what everyone does at the moment. We did that tonight. There was no nonsense. The mentality was right. We started brightly and we carried on and got the small details of the game right at both ends of the pitch, which I was happy with."

    "It is not a comparison to get too caught up in," Lampard said. "They are a very good team; we know that. The individuals that they have, the squad, the coaches that they have. We can only respect that.

    "I watched their game early and with the individual quality when you look across their frontline you see two players on 20 goals and Mason Greenwood doing what he is doing scoring regularly.

    "[Bruno] Fernandes and [Paul] Pogba in midfield, the signing of Harry Maguire. They are a really strong outfit. We know that and the fact we are two points ahead we have to be happy about.

    "We know it is going to be contested right until the end of the season with the form that they are in. With respect to Manchester United and the teams around us, we have to focus on ourselves and try to keep picking up results. That will be the main importance to us."

    Olivier Giroud, Willian and Ross Barkley were on target for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

    However, midfielder N'Golo Kante suffered a hamstring injury in the win after he was withdrawn with 12 minutes remaining in London.

    Lampard, who insisted Jorginho remains part of his plans despite finding himself out of the line-up, added: "N'Golo has got a small hamstring [injury] which we'll have to scan tomorrow [Sunday] and see how bad it is.

    "We hope it's small, that's what I've been told so far. After the scan we'll know but I'm guessing it'll be a problem for [Crystal] Palace on Tuesday."

    Lampard also heaped praise on goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has been linked with a return to LaLiga, after the former Athletic Bilbao star produced an agile save to thwart Danny Welbeck.

    "I am pleased for him and the back four in front of him as well because I thought we defended pretty well when we needed to," Lampard said. "But the moment when we slipped and they got in; he made a really good save.

    "That's what you want from your goalkeeper, you want them to make those saves and stay alert. It will be good for his confidence along with the clean sheet as well."

  • West Indies set to put ‘Phizz’ in their step – CWI announces hydration tablet partner West Indies set to put ‘Phizz’ in their step – CWI announces hydration tablet partner

    Cricket West Indies (CWI), yesterday, announced Phizz as the Official Hydration Tablet Partner.

    The partnership is set to launch on the pitch on Wednesday, July 8 in the team’s highly anticipated first Test match of the Sandals West Indies Tour of England 2020 in the #RaiseTheBat Series at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

    The second and third Test matches will be at Emirates Old Trafford Bowl in Manchester on July 16-20 and July 24-28

    Phizz is scientifically formulated to create the most comprehensive formula of hydration, vitamins and minerals. It was created as a hydration amplifier, ensuring players rapidly absorb two to three times more than drinking water alone, while also replenishing the main electrolytes lost in sweat.

    “Player nutrition and hydration is key in supporting performance, recovery and immune systems under stress from training and travel,” said Dr. Oba Gulston, CWI’s Sports Science and Medicine Manager.

    “We are pleased to bring Phizz on board. We feel that Phizz provides the ideal blend of hydration, essential vitamins, minerals and electrolytes to support our athletes.”

    Dominic Warne, Commercial and Marketing Director for CWI said:

    “We are excited to have Phizz on board to support our athletes on the pitch and on the road as one of our technical partners. This great addition to our family of technical partnerships brings genuine benefits for our teams’ preparation and performance development.”

    Yasmin Badiani, Phizz Head of Sport said:

    "Phizz is proud to partner a legendary team such as the West Indies."

    "This is a big moment for our growing company, and we are looking forward to working closely with the team on this partnership.”

    Phizz supplies more than 60 professional sports clubs as well as airlines, gyms and five-star hotels around the world.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.